National neo-Nazi group sends discriminatory fliers to universities across the nation
On March 25, several networked UC Davis campus printers received anti-Semitic fliers by The Daily Stormer, an international neo-Nazi group. Many other universities throughout the country, including Brown University; Princeton University; Smith College; University of Southern California; University of Massachusetts, Amherst and University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, were affected as well.
“White man are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneracy? Join us in the struggle for global white supremacy at The Daily Stormer,” the fliers read, accompanied by two swastikas.
Dewight Kramer, an information and technology security consultant, stated that because UC Davis has no campuswide firewall, departments with unprotected or weak firewalls were easily targeted.
The university assures that its Information Security Office is engaged with departments to better protect their printers.
“I do not think his real intent was to expose printers, but to offend and anger people,” said Cheryl Washington, UC Davis’ chief information security officer, in UC Davis Dateline. “Our firewalls are not inherently vulnerable. However, infrastructure is vulnerable if safeguards like our firewalls are not properly hardened.”
Following the incident, Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi condemned the anti-Semitic and racist fliers in a campuswide email.
“We condemn this latest affront to our community in the strongest terms possible. As we are all painfully aware, bigotry and hate are plagues experienced around the world,” Katehi said in the email. “As Friday’s incident reminds us, we must be ever vigilant in striving for a society where everyone feels safe and welcome. I deeply regret that anyone was exposed to such ugliness, and pledge to you that we will work with our peer institutions and authorities on campus and off to determine its origins and take appropriate actions.”
A similar sentiment from Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy of UMass Amherst also criticized the racist fliers.
“This despicable incident reminds us that we must not be complacent as we continue to strive for a society that embraces diversity, inclusion and equity — a society where everyone feels safe and welcome,” Subbaswamy said in a campuswide email to UMass Amherst.
Zachary Nelson, president of Aggies for Israel, claims that, according to a Hillel donor who is a Holocaust survivor, the fliers are word-for-word copies of other anti-Semitic propaganda he saw in Nazi Germany.
“It goes to show that it’s not original and it was simply to create attention for themselves. Although It’s still very shocking and luckily students were not on campus when this was happening,” Nelson said.
A recent study published by AMCHA Initiative listed UC Davis as the fourth most anti-Semitic campus in the country. Nelson noted how the UC Davis Jewish community has been targeted multiple times in the past year: swastikas drawn at Alpha Epsilon Pi and elsewhere surrounding campus, incidents of hate speeches and the recent fliers.
The fliers appeared at UC Davis two days after the UC Board of Regents passed a statement revising its Principles Against Intolerance, which specifically condemns anti-Semitism as a form of intolerance.
“Anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California,” the statement reads.
Mikaela Tenner, an ASUCD senator and a member of Aggies for Israel and Hillel, believes the study’s results are indicative of UC Davis’ campus environment.
“As a tour guide on campus, I have seen the concerns that prospective Jewish students and their families have had in regard to increases in anti-Israel activity and anti-Semitic incidents at UC Davis and other UC campuses,” Tenner said. “If things do not improve soon, I foresee that the UC schools risk having a rapid decrease in Jewish students over the next few years.”
Written by: Yvonne Leong – firstname.lastname@example.org